Good Counsel's X factor

CINCINNATI -- The only thing hotter than the temperature on Sunday was all of the talent assembled at St. Xavier High School's Ballaban Field for the Skyline crosstown showdown between perennial powers St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Good Counsel (Olney, Md.). When you have a lot of talent assembled in one place, trying to find just one standout could be a difficult task, but not on this day.

Good Counsel's do-it-all junior athlete Stefon Diggs put on a show and was the difference in the game, while leading his team to a 21-6 win over the host Bombers.

Down six points in the fourth quarter and facing a fourth and 12, Good Counsel went to Diggs to get the first down. However, the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder didn't stop there. He was all over the field on the defensive side of the ball, intercepting three passes. Whispers on the sidelines had coaches and scouts comparing Diggs' performance to that of Deion Sanders. Good Counsel coach Bob Milloy has 322 career victories under his belt and he has seen his fair share of talented athletes and Diggs makes the cut as one of the best.

"Stefon is talented for sure," said Milloy. "You can see by what he did [Sunday] that he's special. Three interceptions, he caught a big pass on fourth down and he made several other plays that helped put our team in a position to win."

There's a mutual respect between Milloy and St. Xavier coach Steve Specht and besides having the respect for each other and their teams, they also agree that Diggs has a very high ceiling.

"That's a pretty good football team over there. No. 2 (Diggs) is special for sure," said Specht. "We knew coming into the game that they had athletes. We thought we had a pretty good offense coming in and we turned the ball over six times. But give them credit and Diggs was just special. Looking at tape, we knew he was going to be someone that we had to know where he was at all times. That fourth-down catch he made was the turning point in the game I think. Great players make plays. [He's] so athletic, Diggs has a bright future for sure."

Maryland, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, UCLA, North Carolina and Rutgers have all given Diggs verbal scholarship offers, but he's completely open at this time. Diggs, who describes himself as the type of player that wants to make plays and help his team when the lights go on, wants to take some unofficial visits next summer and hit some camps.

"When I'm talking to college coaches, I'll ask where they see me playing and [how I can help their team] and I'm sure after the dust settles, I'll find the right school," said Diggs. "It's just too early to really be talking about all this. I still have a lot of work to do. I made some mistakes [Sunday] and I just want to be a good teammate right now."

Chris Pool has covered recruiting in Chicago and the Midwest for 15 years. He can be reached at cjpespn@yahoo.com